A 33-year-old Phoenix man is being held by sheriff’s deputies in Phoenix in connection with an Internet death threat against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his ongoing investigation into the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate.
Adam Eugene Cox was taken into custody at his home Friday by Phoenix deputies, along with sheriff’s officers from Knoxville, Tenn., on an unrelated warrant for assault and is being held as the prime suspect in the Arpaio death threat investigation, said Maricopa County Sheriff’s spokesman Jeffrey Sprong.
Deputies served a search warrant and seized a computer and other evidence from Mr. Cox’ home. The alleged threat against Sheriff Arpaio came to light in October 2011 in which Mr. Cox reportedly said in an Internet posting that the sheriff and his family would be killed.
Maricopa County officials said the postings read, “I plan to kill Arpaio first. He will be filled with a thousand bullet holes before the year is out. I promise you this … He will be buried 10 feet under and his whole family will be murdered along with him.”
The officials said the postings also indicated that Mr. Cox is an avid supporter of Mr. Obama and that Sheriff Arpaio’s ongoing investigation into the legitimacy of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate may be behind the threat to kill the sheriff. They said Mr. Cox’ mother confirmed that her son is an Obama supporter and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said he has a history of assault.
Sheriff Arpaio’s investigation into the Obama birth certificate question began late last year and is being handled by the sheriff’s volunteer cold case posse, made up of retired police detectives and lawyers, and at no expense to the taxpayer. Their initial findings are expected to be announced within 30 days.
“I will not be intimated against pursuing this investigation into Obama’s eligibility to serve as the president of the United States,” the sheriff said.
The arrest of Mr. Cox is one of numerous death threats made against Sheriff Arpaio including several different Mexican drug cartels who have threatened his life and placed a contract nearing $4 million for his execution. Friday’s arrest is the first death threat involving the Obama investigation.
“Every threat will be taken seriously, and the sheriff knows that his position often attracts threats but he draws the line when his family is threatened,” said Deputy Chief David Trombi, whose detectives have overseen the threat investigations against
Their investigations took deputies from Arizona to California where search warrants were served on Google headquarters in Knoxville.
At Google, deputies also served a separate search warrant involving a different threat against Sheriff Arpaio related to the recent shooting death of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy William Coleman. Mr. Coleman, 50, a 20-year veteran, was fatally shot while he was investigating a burglary in progress. He was the first Maricopa County deputy killed in the line of duty since 1995.